• How to Use Vintage Blendable Palettes as Masks in Photoshop and PSE

    I'm all about finding different ways to reuse my digital supplies. Doing so helps me stretch my crafting budget by getting the most from the kits I have already purchased. In today's tip, Iíll show you how I reuse an element to get a totally different look.

    Katie Pertietís Vintage Blendable Palettes are sets of beautifully watercolored paint swatches that look amazing tucked behind photos or blended into a background. I am loving the pages Iím seeing in the Designer Digitals Gallery using these wonderful elements. But did you know you can reuse the Palettes as masks with digital paper or photos, too? Here's how:

    • Begin by opening a Vintage Blendable Palette (PNG) as well as a piece of patterned digital paper and a new document or digital project in Photoshop and PSE.
    • Using the Move tool, drag the Palette image onto your digital project (or blank document.) Drag the palette into position. Remember that you can drag the layer up or down the layers panel to move it above or below other elements on the page.
    • Still using the Move tool, drag the paper image onto the digital project. It should come in one position above the Palette in the Layers panel. If it didn't drag it into place.
    • Now create a clipping mask by selecting the paper layer and pressing Alt Ctrl G (Mac: Opt Cmd G) on your keyboard. (In older versions of PSE, press Ctrl G / Mac: Cmd G). Your paper should take on the shape of the Palette image. If that didn't work for you, try one of these other two methods for creating a clipping mask.
      -The second way to create a clipping mask is to simply hover the cursor between the paper layer and the Palette layer in the Layers panel. Hold the Alt key (Mac: Opt key) as you hover. When the cursor changes to a box with a downward arrow, click once. This causes the paper to take on the shape of the Palette image.
      -A third way to create a clipping mask is to select the paper layer and choose Layer > Create Clipping Mask from the Menu bar.
    • When you are successful in creating a clipping mask, the Palette image will be covered in the paper or photo to which you clipped it. It gives the Palette a completely different look and feel.
    • You can even take it a step further by changing the Blending Mode of the paper layer from Normal to overlay. Just select the paper layer and locate the blending mode above the Layers panel. Use the drop-down menu to select Overlay. Now the swatches are visible again, but they have been filled with your paper! How fun is that? (Note: the blending technique works best when the colors of the Palette image coordinate with the color of your patterned paper.)

    I hope you'll experiment with filling your Vintage Blendable Palette images with papers or photos. It's a really neat way to get a whole new look.